RAIPUR: Amid blazing guns, bloodshed and a blow to governance, good news has quietly come out from the red zones of Chhattisgarh. Tribal students of Dantewada, the worst Maoist-affected district in south Chhattisgarh, have made their presence felt in the high school board examination results. Their pass percentage has crossed 80 for the first time, making Dantewada the best performing district in the board exam. The overall pass percentage for the state was 61.
With with 80.70 pass percentage, Dantewada—where Left-wing extremists have demolished maximum number of schools during the last decade and a half—has improved its previous year’s result of 64 per cent. With 81.57 per cent pass figure, girls performed better than boys (79.83 per cent).
Some educationists were astonished with the results and felt it should be examined.
“We decided to focus on the previous exam results, examined it and set the targets. The strategy was judiciously executed with the involvement of principals, academic staff, teachers and sarpanchs. The reasons for poorly performing schools was looked into,” said Dantewada District Collector Saurabh Kumar, who received the Prime Minister’s Excellence Award in Delhi on April 21.
The Vidya Mitan (Teachers) Project under which 1,800 teachers were especially appointed for tribal areas has also helped in improving their performance.
About four months ago before the board exams, the district administration began conducting mandatory test series every month in all schools, which were monitored by the officials. Even the people’s representatives were urged to observe the process in their areas.
The school results were put online and the performance was reviewed and analysed by the education department every month in the presence of the collector and the district education officer.
“Parents’ feedback was routinely taken. Such practices of test paper series and marathon review meetings were never held before,” said assistant director, school education department, Ahilya Thakur.
Sarpanchs were asked to persuade parents to encourage their children to remain focused on study and nurture a better career. The approach had a good outcome, district education officer Subhash Ganjir claimed.
Extra classes a couple of months before the exam provided the academic momentum. “During the review of their performance, we found some students who did not do well. We also identified many who were in need of greater attention and had the capability to excel,” said the Dantewada collector.